Laboring and Loss: Strength in Prayer

Around 6pm on the same evening that we were told our sweet baby girl had gone to be with Jesus, I took my first dose of medication in attempt to start labor. Our family had arrived not long after we were settled in our L&D room. And some of our closest friends as well. Seeing my best friend, Amanda, hurt so bad but it felt so reassuring at the same time. I knew she had felt exactly what I was feeling in this very moment. I just felt so calm seeing her there because I knew she had made it through this difficult moment and she just gave me a sense of peace that I needed so badly. I had watched Amanda, her husband and their family rely on their faith during their loss and I always looked up to them for that.

One of my best friends, Emilee, was there working that night so she willingly agreed to be our labor nurse. I know this was hard on her but for every second she was in my room, she was so put together and so strong for us. I will never forget that. She offered so much reassurance with her unwavering faith and I’m so thankful for that.

I had two more friends that had both delivered their babies in the past 15 days and they both came to visit with us. I know it had to be hard for them to feel so complete with their new babies and see us so broken-hearted.

Our family went home this night to rest because we knew it would be a while before I delivered. Some of my friends and nurse friends sat in our room with us until about midnight until I decided to try to rest a little while. We told jokes about different things and laughed a lot. I think a lot of people were wondering, “Did it hit her yet? Maybe she is in denial?” And the truth is, I knew exactly what was going on, I knew exactly what I was facing but I didn’t want to feel sad the entire time. There were things to be happy about even in the midst of so much pain, and I wanted to be sure to focus on those things too. A little after midnight we both rested for a little while and it was much needed.

The next day I progressed slowly and didn’t have the greatest epidural experience. I was pretty comfortable for the first two hours and I was even sitting up applying makeup and talking with visitors. Then not long after, nearly every hour for the next three hours I was given more medication (re-injections) through my epidural. Two of those re-injections that were given to me had narcotics as well, so then I was sleeping for an hour or so after each dose. I ended up needing another epidural. The second epidural mimicked the first one so you know how that went. This was hard for me because I just wanted to see my family and friends and talk with them. I would feel good one moment and want visitors, then they would all have to leave shortly after because I would start having so much pain. It just wasn’t the experience I wanted for sure. I was frustrated with this to say the least, but I was aware that this particular situation with an epidural is very uncommon and everyone just wanted me to be without pain.

So many family and friends visited with us and kept Brandon company while I would nap. I remember seeing and talking to so many people and feeling so terrible about not being awake enough for them. A few pregnant friends visited, and I tried so hard to make them comfortable. I didn’t want them fearful I would be upset with them or for them to feel like this would be their ending too. I know Brandon did the same. I can’t say enough about our support. The amount of people that visited us through these hours, still amazes me and makes me realize just how I lucky I am.

I know I prayed a lot through labor but I recall specifically praying for my health. We had already lost our baby, and I knew I wanted to have more children as soon as we could. Working in labor and delivery in my past, I knew different risks associated with this process and I just wanted the next best result that God could provide. I know I felt the presence of God by my side throughout this all. As I had time to digest it all, I knew that God had a better purpose for us than just be in such pain.

During these long hours of labor, Brandon and I would spend time alone to talk as well. He was amazing. When he was in my room, he was so calm and reassuring and only showed concern for me. I knew he was so broken inside, but he really didn’t let me see it. I found out later that a few times when he stepped outside my room, he would lost it emotionally. Still to this day, that breaks my heart for him. I know he wanted to be so strong for me. When he would only show the slightest fear or pain, I would immediately toughen up and reassure him. I didn’t notice this in the moment. My sister pointed this out to me days later. She said, “Watching y’all over the past few days has blown me away. Y’all are so good for one another. Y’all were the perfect balance. When you were down, he was up and when he was down, you were up.” I thanked her for this compliment and for so much more.

I think I liked being able to reassure Brandon and my pregnant friends through labor. It gave me a minute to not be the focus but a minute to pour into someone else and that truly what makes my heart happy. It was therapeutic for me to offer those words to people. Almost like it was actually the same words of faith speaking to my soul but I didn’t realize how much I was working on myself at the same time.

We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.

(Romans 15:1-2)

My sister was my door guard for all of these hours. She would help control visiting times and deciding on specifics for post delivery. My mother in law helped my sister with a lot of this. During this time, you are not only taking in the news of your loss, undergoing hours and hours of labor, figuring out what your life will look like but you are also faced with decisions for after delivery. These decisions include, services for your baby and a resting place. This is something I never imagined I would have to plan for my baby.

Later that night, things were speeding up and our closest friends and family stayed with us because we knew delivery was getting close. We called back a few friends that left that we knew wanted to be present. Our immediate family never left this night.

At some point during all of this, brandon pulled out our journal to Sawyer. He made a comment that the book wasn’t supposed to stop now. He said how we were supposed to write in that forever, about all of her life experiences. This broke me. We held each other tight and I told him, we could still write to her and that she would still have such a big role in our lives. While in labor I thought a lot about what I was missing out on now, in my new reality.

We had so many plans. I planned everything for me and mini me. All kinds of girly outings we were going to do together, sports she would play, things I would teach her, paint our nails together, braid hair. I had written in her journal about it all, and now I felt so robbed. And I know Brandon felt the same way. It was a pretty awful empty feeling to say the least.

I had a lot of thoughts going on in my head, but it was time for delivery. Time to see her. I was overwhelmed. I was scared. My doctor had to leave town and her partner, Dr. Gautreau, stepped in to take care of me. This was God’s divine intervention because she had her own history with late pregnancy loss and she was able to guide me through delivery and expectations for when we would meet our angel baby.

I hope y’all have enjoyed this one. This is such an intimate moment for us but I want to give a clear picture of where we were at this time. The next blog, I plan to explain our delivery and our final moment when we met our angel, Sawyer. I pray for all those parents experiencing a loss like this or similar to this, and those parents who have been through this before. You are not alone. We are with you. We pray and will continue to pray for you.

Jordyn

A Special Addition From Brandon

My mom was there the entire time of course, along with the rest of my family. But my mom especially helped me. I hadn’t really said it out loud to anyone but I was trying to be strong and positive for Jordyn and everyone else. However, inside I was literally hanging by a string and about to explode. I was mostly scared of the delivery itself and how everything would go and look. This was not only my first “stillbirth”, but this was my first experience with a delivery in general. So I was very scared as to how I would react and how that might affect Jordyn. So at that moment right when everyone had to leave and the delivery was about to start my mom said, “B come see me”. All she asked me was, “Are you ready?” At that moment it was like she was giving me permission to just completely lose it and cry out that fear. No one else there but my mom, no one to be strong for because she would be strong for me. Even for just a couple seconds. I still don’t know how she could just SENSE that i needed that, but i was so grateful. I think about this regularly and just KNOW God tapped her on the heart and said “he needs you right now.”

Brandon

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